Tokyo shopping district choices abound and gift shops, trendy boutiques, departments stores, and small, local shops thrive in many urban areas. In Tokyo, shopping is a refined art form for some. The city in general has a seriously pious dedication to shopping, whether it’s for the latest trend, gifts for special events, or scouring the fish market in search of a perfect main for dinner. Remember that credit cards aren’t that widely accepted so take cash along with you. Crime rates are quite low (due to a great disgrace associated with stealing) so there is no great worry of being hustled for your money.
Shopping in Tokyo can be, and mean, many things for many different people. The array of goods is simply astonishing, and for tourists, shopping is often a big part of sightseeing. For Tokyo youth, shopping is always an adventure—a hunt for the latest fad or trend in which no endless line will ever be a deterrent in final success. For many locals, shopping for necessary staples is a practice polished into perfection. Tokyo anime stores are only one type of the hundreds of specialty shops in the city catering to a distinct crowd in search of the latest hot item. Throughout Tokyo department stores and individual shops, there is virtually no limit to what can be found.
Throughout the Tokyo shopping district of the Ginza, high-end luxury boutiques beckon wallets to open for those killer shoes or trendy bag. Ginza caters to the upper class, but anyone with a little restraint will have a ball window shopping. Since the economic downturn, Ginza slowly transformed into an area that doesn’t only cater to the rich. Commonly known retailers have been springing up, filling the empty spaces left behind by unfortunate others. If you’re looking for Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo or any top scale designer outfits, you will still find them in Ginza as well.
Anyone looking for Tokyo anime stores is likely already familiar with Mandarake, Japan’s anime superstore. The main headquarters of this well-loved store is in Shibuya. The Tokyo shopping district of Akihabara, or Akiba, is a well-known home for many popular anime and cosplay (anime costumes) shops. Many stores in Akiba are massive and retail a wide array of items such as manga, anime, countless gadgets, video games, and much, much more. Walking around Akiba and exploring the large and small areas alike is the best way to find out what’s available. It’s also the best way to find top deals. Some stores offer specialty items only, while others retail items across the board. Other excellent places to explore for everything anime are Shinjuku and Nakano where Tokyo anime stores seem to be around every corner turned.
There are about six main department stores ideal for shopping in Tokyo. Odakyu and Parco near Sihinjuku, Isetan, Ikebukero’s Seibu (one of the biggest department stores worldwide), and Mitsukoshi in Nihombashi. Though some might deem it to be excessive, Japanese department stores and boutiques take a lesson from Japanese history and culture, placing great emphasis on presentation of goods purchased. Something you buy might be wrapped in paper, sealed in plastic, and then bagged again, and perhaps one more time. The final product is pleasing to the eye. This is a common occurrence and a practice that goes beyond shopping. Think sushi and sashimi and how food is so perfectly presented. Presentation is a key element in Japanese culture.
The Oriental Bazaar Omotesando is an another outlet extremely popular for shopping in Tokyo and a must for budget-friendly shoppers. Souvenirs galore might make your head spin, but you’re sure to find plenty of great gifts and keepsakes. The bazaar is Tokyo’s most famous craft and souvenir shop with a host of reasonably priced items. Four floors are filled with chopsticks, sake sets, handmade dolls, books, beautiful kimonos (both new and second-hand), antiques, and much more. If you find your basket fills up too quickly, the store will even send your goods to your home by post. Talk about service! Shopping in Tokyo is definitely an experience not to be overlooked.